I’VE ONLY GOT 15 MINUTES TO TEACH MY CHILD. ANY GUIDELINES?
Believe it or not, you can accomplish tons in 15 minutes a day. That’s because frequency is one of the brain’s best friends for learning. A few minutes a day trumps a one hour session a week! My “Reading Prescription” for years has been “5 minutes twice a day.” If you’ve got 15 minutes, you’ve got extra!
I’ve gone into detail about how to actually teach reading to our learners with Down syndrome in my book Whole Child Reading. The quick Guide Sheet I’m giving you to download here: GUIDELINE FOR A TEACHING SESSION is based on that book. Just adjust it for your child’s age and reading level, as well as for how much time you have available from day to day.
Here’s a friendly breakdown of the Guide:
1. If the student is still learning letter SOUNDS (which should be taught first, even before names are solidly learned), pick 3 sounds a week and teach them every day. Recommended app: Starfall ABC.
2. Next comes something the learner has already mastered: a book, personal page (search my blog page for “personal pages”), lotto game, etc. You’ll teach “sandwich style,” meaning you do Fast Flash first and last, with reading the book sandwiched in-between. (search this blog page for Fast Flash if you don’t know it; search for Sandwich Style as well.) Remember that you’re showing the cards in groups of 5, moving the cards 2 per second, and the child does not repeat the word; just watches.
3. Go on to the next level to be mastered with a book. Use the Sandwich method again, along with Fast Flash. If you’re using my high-frequency word Book Series, this is a great time to introduce the next book in the series.
4. Play a friendly phonemic awareness game; your choice. The site reallygoodstuff.com does indeed have “really good stuff” for this activity. Check it out.
5. End the session with something FUN. Reading is about speed, variety, and JOY, according to pioneer Glenn Doman who unlocked the key to quick learning decades ago. His work has been carried on in the USA by NACD (National Association for Child Development) and in Japan by educators Heguru and Shichida. (see www.rightbraineducationlibrary.com).
We CAN make this easier than it looks…don’t let your time limitations discourage you from going for it!